She was beautiful, she really was

From the kinkiness in her hair

To the constellations in her eyes

…The smile she wore

…Her bossom

….Her hips

…Beautiful long legs

She knew this from an early age

That she was just that, beautiful

But we walk around like the world is our reflection

Look into the face of a stranger

And decide we aren’t good looking after all

“I’ll look better with that hair,” she’d say

I read a magazine earlier

Girls like her do not cut it out as pretty

Women like her have too many acne scars to be recognised

So she did what was expected of her

Wore hair that wasn’t hers

Make up that burnt her face

What else could she do

When her validation of beauty came from those whose names she didn’t know

What’s this beauty they speak of?

She wanted her name to be mentioned when they speak of it

But the girl looking back at her wasn’t her

…Who’s body was her soul wearing now?

…Who’s defining her beauty?



Ratie Selelo


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